Category : Article Writing

Why is 3rd party content so valuable?

M3 Publishing > Article Writing
29Sep
content marketing - are you getting it right?Content – Are you getting it right?

Content – Are you getting it right?

“Content Marketing” is apparently all the rage among marketers, along with the often used phrase “content is king”.

For someone who has worked creating and publishing content for some 15 years, I consider content and, may I say, its’ subsequent communication is essential to the success of any business.

However, content is only powerful if it gets seen or heard by the target audience at which it is aimed.

Content comes in many forms, of course. This can include video clips – in both real or animated format and it can include visual content such as images, logos, gifs and infographics.

With the growth of sites like Pinterest and Vine, all these different types of visual images can be a powerful tool, especially for b2c marketers.

Audio content is also an option. e.g. sound bites – maybe your own voice recording or a radio interview for example. Audio clips may be particularly useful if your prospects spend a lot of their ‘research’ time driving in their car.

Written Content – Leave it to the experts

Then we come to good old written content – It never goes out of fashion and we can all write it very easily.

Is that maybe not quite true, dare I say?

It doesn’t go out of fashion –  that’s true, and maybe words and styles may change.

Do we all find it easy to write? No, that’s certainly not the case with the majority of people I talk with.

My first client for content marketing 15 years ago, asked me the question… “Do I have to write our content?” “No, we will do it for you”, I answered.

“Excellent, we’ll go with that!”, he said, very relieved.

I learnt very soon, that clients did not want to have to write their own content as it was time-consuming and not their area of expertise. They also did not feel very comfortable singing the praises of their own business – maybe that’s a British trait?

Producing good content is one thing but getting the content right is an art in itself.

What is the best type of content for your audience?

A Recent study into content by global research specialists Nielsen, looked at the three main types of content that we, as marketers, produce.

These are:

Branded or company-generated content, which focuses on the facts about a business, maybe including case studies highlighting work being done.

Secondly, testimonial type content or product reviews from customers.

Lastly, there is what we refer to as ‘third-party expert’ content.

In the survey, it was found that the 3rd-party expert content had the most impact and influence on customers.

Why is 3rd party content so valuable? 

The implied endorsement of third-party experts holds much more weight to consumers than anything a company can say about itself.

This content needs to appear on some place other than your own website of course, otherwise it doesn’t quite achieve that critical 3rd party legitimacy. The website also needs to have credibility for your content to be taken seriously by your reader.

This 3rd party content can therefore be very powerful if used correctly, within your content marketing & communication strategy.

If you can position yourself as a ‘quoted’ expert with integrity, within your chosen sector, your authority and reputation can acquire a real boost.

Why not talk to M3 Media Publishing about how you or your business could feature in one of their digital sector-specific magazines.

Call David Lomas on 08450 519374

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15Apr
headlinesHow Can Intriguing Headlines Help Your Stories Connect?

How Can Intriguing Headlines Help Your Stories Connect?

At our recent M3 Connections event, jointly hosted with RBS (Future Williams and Glyn), over 50 business leaders and directors discovered the real value of headlines. This invitation-only gathering, in Central Manchester, gave me the opportunity to talk about how to attract interest, through headlines that intrigue.

I spoke about how to engage an audience’s attention by using headlines that spark interest. I also explained the importance of headlines and how they are the key to engaging with an audience by attracting or even provoking them.

The object is to make readers want to read more. Treat them as people and not as prospects.  Give them something to think about, and don’t simply talk at them with facts.

Andrew Thorp, of MojoLife, fully complemented my talk with his follow-up session about the power and potency of storytelling. Andrew focused on how well-constructed stories can give an audience a sense of emotional investment in a particular subject or topic.

Everyone in this room is in the influencing business
Andrew Thorp, MojoLife

Andrew advised that turning dry case studies into stories with human interest was a valuable way of attracting and retaining people’s attention.

The talks were followed by a group workshop session where attendees shared stories, learned about shaping them to make them more dramatic; and then came up with dynamic headlines for them. This was a very practical way of putting the things, that Andrew and I had talked about, into practice.

RBS Relationship Director, Steve Taylor, commented on how the M3 Connections events have real value for making business connections. “These events combine valuable insights with supportive connecting and a proper exchange of views that can really spark inspiration for all involved”.

David Lomas
CEO, M3 Media Publishing

 

If you are director or business leader based in Manchester or the North West and would like to make quality connections at a future event, please call M3 Media Publishing on 08450 519374.

Alternatively, fill in your details below and one of the M3 team will get in touch with you.

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20Mar
How engaging are your headlinesHow Important are Headlines?

How Important are Headlines?

Headlines are really the most important part of your article writing.  It is the first thing that can grab the attention of your reader or web visitor.

Your headlines, in effect, are your first real point of connection with your prospective customer, so you need to get them right.

Your headline is important to your reader as it is a great indicator of your true ‘behaviour’.  It should NOT try and sell to your reader, but should draw them towards wanting to continue reading the rest of your article.  Don’t try and say too much in your article – make one point and do it well!

Using a ‘question’ in your headline is the most effective way of doing this.  This is also something that the search engines like – especially when the rest of your article contains the answer!

A question, if written well, should be able to attract, intrigue or even to gently provoke your readers to want to read more.  Using more ‘interesting’ verbs will help you do this.

Here is a quick example of how we would aim to attract architects to an article about the benefits of using design software.  In this case, we use two powerful verbs – inspire and achieve.

New Software Inspires Architect to Achieve Top Award

The headline is not only intriguing, but it also alludes to the success or ‘legacy’ within the story.

Writing Headlines – Keep It Simple

There are different elements within any headline that readers will ‘connect’ with.  You can’t squeeze all of them in at once, otherwise you could actually lose the impact you are wanting to create.

Some people suggest headlines should contain no more than seven words, but we have had equal success with longer titles. We would, however, suggest you keep them as simple and ‘to the point’ as possible.

Here are some simple guidelines:-

  • Ensure the message in your headline is clear and ‘to the point’
  • Your headlines should highlight the ‘benefit’ to your reader of reading your article
  • Get your headlines to ‘resonate’ with your reader by showing that you understand their pains or particular business issues

 

 

For help with creating powerful and attractive headlines for your chosen target audience, please call us on 08450 519 374.  Alternatively, fill in your details below and one of our team will contact you.

Good Luck!

David Lomas, CEO
M3 Media Publishing

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26Dec
don't be afraid to shout about yourself using contentContent – Who is writing about you?

Content – Who is writing about you?

At this point in time, we should all know that content writing can either make us or break us, no matter what line of business we are in. We now live in a world of communication where content is what catches the attention of our audience and brings customers towards us.

I have found that the most effective content is that which not only engages the reader but tells them a little bit more about who we are and, in particular, how we behave.

It doesn’t always mean shouting out to the world how great we are but rather telling prospective customers what it is that we are passionate about and what we can offer them.

Yes, it has become a bit of a cliché to hear “Content Is King,” but the fact of the matter is, content really is the supreme being on your website or social media page. Content tells your prospective customers what it is you do, how you think, what your products are and most importantly, what you can do to benefit their personal lives or their businesses.

Having worked in content marketing for over 15 years now, numerous business owners have told me that they find it uncomfortable to write about themselves in a really positive way – I think that is a particularly British thing – that we don’t easily brag about our own achievements. Other business owners just don’t find the time to sit down to write and consequently, have been unable to use content very effectively.

The first thing I do is to tell them they are not alone. No one likes to go about bragging about their victories and of course, most business owners are so wrapped up in the day to day issues of their company that they don’t have their eye on the ball when it comes to content.

Content Marketing – Use an expert to engage your audience

I believe that most, if not all businesses could benefit by hiring professional writers to handle this task for them. In the first place, writers have no qualms about ‘bigging up’ your image because they are not ‘bragging’ about anything they have personally accomplished.

Secondly, some writers are expert at creating content that can ‘engage’ your audience.

Using engaging content to attract and bring your customer to your door is a path that I refer to as your ‘Customer Corridor’. It is the route that a reader takes through your content all the way to sales conversion.

A very good writer will understand how to guide a reader through written content by using a practice known as ‘thought sequencing’ – This is where the reader’s thoughts are influenced as they read your content and they are subsequently prompted to respond via a ‘call to action’.

These are all tools of the Internet marketing sector and something you shouldn’t feel bad about lacking. Connecting with customer is a job that requires a special brand of expertise, so I suggest you let someone else do it for you.

It’s so much more effective when someone else is talking about you and your business and that’s what good writers can do.

David Lomas

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22Dec
write good content of interest to your audienceAre you sending out the right message?

Are you sending out the right message?

Sharing good quality content with any audience surely makes good business sense, doesn’t it? We all need to give out valuable messages to our audience to first gain their attention, in order to begin to engage with them.

This is similarly true when giving a speech or presentation, or even when we may make our 60-second introduction speech at a networking-style event. We must always try to grab the attention of our audience with a message or story that resonates with them.

If we start by talking about something that is relevant and ‘of value’ to our audience, then it provides us the opportunity, at a later stage, to ask them questions and use our stories to provide the answers that they may bee seeking to their individual challenges.

The information you give out initially, must stay relevant to your prospects’ current business issues, in order to catch their attention. It must not be focused or be directly relevant to your own product or service offering.

It is far better not to be talking about yourself at all. In fact the whole focus of your message must be on your prospects, not you!

This is exactly the same way that we should also position and focus our social media activity. Social media works far better when you try to engage with others and take an interest in them. The clue is in the name!

It is therefore, very important that the content that we push out to our contacts via social media has real value to our prospects. It must not be simply a blatant or even, ‘slightly-hidden’ sales message about our products and services – we see too much of that already.

In this digital and social media world, asking questions and then sharing valuable information with others is the critical first stage of customer engagement. You need to ask the questions forst to identify what information can be deemed ‘valuable’ to your prospect.

This sociable attitude will help you to initially discover the VALUE that your prospect will recognise and enable you to connect with them. At some stage they WILL want to hear more, I promise you.

Then, all you need to do, is to ensure that you have a ready supply of good quality, valuable content for your new audience!

David Lomas
www.m3mediapublishing.co.uk
Content Creators & Digital Publishers

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29Jan
Concept of content marketing and Google algorithmWhy is our content different?

Why is our content different?

Many people might ask the question: “As we already have content on our website and on our blog, why is your content going to make a difference?”

It depends whether or not the content you have already written on your website is attracting or, more importantly ‘engaging’ with your web visitors. In many cases where I assess websites, I find the content to be rather dull and uninspiring. Your content should have an impact on the reader and grab their attention with both your words and, of course your imagery.

To create ‘effective’ content, you first need to know ‘who your visitors are’ and ‘where they have come from’. You need to understand what frame of mind they are in when they reach your content.

By this I mean, are they a first time visitor or have they come to you after already having read an article that covers a particular issue?

In other words: Are they just researching or are they now ready to buy from you?

We can’t always know these answers, but if we construct a ‘route’ for our prospective customers to follow, then we have  can better retain the focus of these prospects.

The way we write content is important but the overall solution for a successful content marketing strategy involves the creation of landing pages around your website, which focus on different customer types, or personas, and how to attract them to your door.

Allow me to explain…

Landing pages: How can they help to attract customers?

First you need to ‘connect’ with a possible target customer with a piece of information, a headline or an article, that is of interest to him.

It is critical that this content is published in a place relevant to your ‘chosen’ sector.

Your article needs to show an element of  ‘understanding’ by the writer and ideally it should contain some research, that the writer has done – in order for it to be perceived as credible.

The main focus of your article should be on the issue that is relevant to the customer and it should stay focused purely on this one issue.

I see too many businesses trying to get multiple messages into one article, thereby overloading the reader with too much information, and thus losing his attention.

Within the article, there needs to be some mention of you or your business as someone who understands the particular issue. There should also be a brief illustration of how you have successfully helped other businesses, in a similar position, in the past.

There should also be a link for the reader to gain quick information about you, your expertise and your credibility. (Read my article on ‘The Speed of Influence’ and how it will shape business on the internet in the future)

This is what I mean by ‘effective’ content and it should now have gained the attention of your reader.

Create a ‘downloadable’ document

The next stage is to offer this reader a more in-depth report or ‘whitepaper’ style document about the same issue.

This is very powerful if it is relevant to his particular sector.

This content should be sitting on your website on a landing page that is solely focused on this same sector, so when the customer reaches the page, YOUR expertise in HIS sector is reaffirmed.

This keeps him in the state of mind that ‘you are the person to go to’ as you understand his sector.

Finally, If the headline on your document is sufficiently tempting to him, then he is very likely to give you his contact details in return for a download of your information.

For help with getting cleverly-written content in front of your chosen target audience, please contact me via:  david @m3publishing.co.uk

David Lomas

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27Jan
article marketing can help drive visits to your websiteHow can articles generate business for you?

How can articles generate business for you?

Articles on their own, may not be enough to generate business for you.

The articles need to sit as part of the route that your prospective customer can choose to follow, that will eventually lead to your front door.

I refer to this route as the ‘customer corridor’ and your articles will work better when they form part of this route.

Very simply, you need to create a number of simple steps for your prospects to take to reach you.
If at each point, your prospect is given some idea that you can still be helpful to him, then the next step is for you to offer them another piece of valuable information.

Thus drawing the customer closer to you.

Think of this as if you were laying a trail of breadcrumbs for them to follow.

The final document should contain a little more ‘in-depth’ information for the reader, which follows the theme of your initial article. Thus retaining the focus of your prospective customer on whatever caught his attention in the first place.

This ‘teaser’ document, as I sometimes call it, should contain information that your reader really wants to see and it should ideally be placed within your website – and hidden from view.

This, critically, will then allow you to offer this information to your reader, in exchange for his email address.

Thereby completing the customers’ ‘route’ to your door and more importantly, providing you with a method of measuring and converting your reader into a partly-qualified prospect.

For help with writing articles that generate business, please contact me via:  david @m3publishing.co.uk

David Lomas

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27Jan
aim your article writing at people not GoogleHumans or Robots – Who are you writing for?

Humans or Robots – Who are you writing for?

Do you consider this a strange question?

It’s not really, if you understand how the internet works.

When writing content, I much prefer to communicate with ‘people’ rather than ‘search engines’.

If we follow the preachings of Google, and to survive on the internet, you need to pay attention, if not necessarily pay homage to them, we should be writing articles in a natural way.

Over the last 10 years I have seen the way Google has steadily been improving the way they respond to and in turn, value well-written content.

We have come a long way from all that heavily keyworded content, that in many cases made no sense whatsoever. These articles were written in many cases, to accommodate the requests of the search engines.

Things have improved from a Google perspective and good quality, informative content is now being deservedly recognised.

However, the majority of articles that I see on websites, that are written by ‘marketing or SEO agencies for ‘SEO purposes’ are dull and uninspiring, to say the least.

Grammatically, they may be well written, and I am sure that they contain the relevant keywords and phrases that will no doubt attract the search engines.

But from a customers perspective, they are as dull as dishwater.

Who cares? you may ask.

Well as website owners, we all should…

Why is it important to have ‘engaging content’?

Well, when you consider that, next to ‘unique & relevant content’, the most important factor that Google can measure on your website is ‘popularity’, then you may need to re-assess your content strategy.

I recently looked at one particular business who was paying an SEO agency for around 25+ articles each month – to be published on their website.

On the face of it, this is what the search engines wanted to see.

But when I looked at how many of these articles were actually being ‘shared’ by web visitors, the results were very disappointing.

From a count of say 50 articles, I only found a dozen of them had actually been ‘shared’ on social media and none of them more than 5 times!

When you realise that Google’s method of measuring the popularity or ‘value’ of a website is in the number of times ‘others share their content’, this is therefore a content strategy that is having a negative influence on their rankings.

The content was nicely written, but, frankly, it was dull.

So, if you are going to get your content written by others, ensure that they aim it at us humans and not just at the internet spiders.

Otherwise, enjoy your writing!

For help with using engaging content to gain the attention of your chosen target audience, please contact me via:  david @m3publishing.co.uk

David Lomas

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